Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Robotic Immunity

I've been struggling with my information-packrat tendencies recently - I used to never discard an mp3/ogg because I had the "gotta catch 'em all" mentality - what if someone might mention wanting to hear a song that I had deleted? Making progress - I've deleted a lot of music that I don't like hearing recently, and have been going through all the NES8 cartrage audiodumps.. discarding nostalgia feels weird. The upside is that it puts more of a spotlight on those files I keep...

Speaking of that, some of the tunes really have odd emotional triggers that they swing on like bars in a Jungle Gym... (itself a strange word - I wonder where it came from and if it's still commonly used). A tune from Marble Madness exhibits a lovable craziness that I no longer really have it in me to enjoy, and a tune from the space level in Ducktales speaks of a combined hope and security, saying something like "You'll be taken care of" .. invokes bitterness now.

I've been thinking about behaviour on MMO games recently, in particular the expectation that accomplishment within the game (taking the form of "levels", items, money) represents actual labour on behalf of the person whose account it is. There are various groups that go against this model, typically against the intent of the administrators of the game (although not always), by offering services where realworld currency is exchanged to level one's character, to buy in-game currency/items, and sometimes even to advertise realworld products that have nothing to do with the game. Restricting the topic to games where none of this is welcome, there are typical rules laid out by the publisher against such things and measures taken to either directly look for or provide nice means to report such behaviour - some instances of the matter purely involve real people logging into accounts but behaving against the norms of the game, but enterprising people often take that further and write bots to do this kind of thing. With ill-considered systems like tor and botnets breaking traditional internet expectations of responsibility for one's IP address, there's a bit of an arms race with the larger games to prevent such issues. Sensible solutions, scaled up enough, eventually end up biting the wrong person - that doesn't always invalidate them as acceptable, but it's hard to explain that to accidental victims (our legal system's notion of "beyond a reasonable doubt" of course cannot avoid occasionally making mistakes - the "better a hundred guilty should go free than one innocent convicted" is delusional because if we were deadset against ever making a mistake, we could not act. What's left in practice is mix concern about mistakes with good judgement and an attempt to do one's best - there's a lot of variance expected but absolute statements would result in an unworkable system). I've run afoul of accidentally being picked out as a bot more than once in various games of this sort. This is probably because I have a habit, when playing games that have performance issues or built-in delays for some actions, to play several games at once and swap between them, interleaving the timings so I don't lose much. This tends to make my actions rather mechanical, as I identify less with the characters when I'm playing that way. I wonder if, given my perspective on programming (as a way to express one's will into a reduced form that that stand on its own and act, within a computer (making it substantially kin to, say, writing a religious or philosophical text and keeping, say, people from writing such rubbish as "Interpreting Nietzsche as a Christian"
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), I should consider that style of play to really be consistent with the intent of the game... As much as these bots tend to ruin the game (at least from my perspective, and generally those of the game-organisers), it's sometimes neat to see each move in the endless cat-and-mouse struggle between those sides, and to put oneself in either side's shoes, dreaming of a checkmate move. It's kind of like Apple's struggle to keep their iPhone hardware locked (even as my judgement is strongly against Apple on that matter).

A quote I meant to share sometime back but forgot:

".. the parties must assume that they may have moral, religious, or philosophical interests which they cannot put in jeopardy unless there is no alternative. One might say that they regard themselves as having moral or religious obligations which they must keep themselves free to honor. Of course, from the standpoint of justice as fairness, these obligations are self-imposed; they are not bonds laid down by this conception of justice" -- John Rawls, "Theory of Justice"

This time of year, the sun doesn't seem to bother showing up for very long anymore. Recent discovery: brown sugar in white tea. Interesting taste.

I've been thinking recently about a list of the most clever ideas I've been exposed to in math (my apologies if I've posted about this before - I tend to forget most posts shortly after making them because they're just a snapshot of whatever's flowing through my mind at the moment)..

  • Simplex method
  • Bayes Theorem (and related concepts)
  • SVD
  • Gödel's Incompleteness Theorum (even if on some level it feels wrong, it's certainly clever)
  • Pumping Lemma (which has the annoying/awesome tendency to leave my understanding and need refreshing every so often - annoying because I can't hook it up to other concepts on a whim, awesome because it's like a good book that I can reread more often than other good books)

So far this is turning out to be a rather lonely weekend.

Tags: music

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